DALLAS – In the overtime game Saturday night against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Dallas Mavericks kept trying to get the ball to Dirk Nowitzki.
But as the Blazer defense kept denying Nowitzki the ball, it kept landing in the hands Chandler Parsons. And that wasn’t a bad idea, either, as far as the Mavs were concerned.
Parsons personally outscored the Blazers in the overtime session, 10-5, and the Mavs rallied for an improbable 111-101 victory over Portland at American Airlines Center.
In the aftermath, Parsons simply took what the Blazer defense dictated as the Mavs used a late 22-2 run to stun the Blazers.
"I was just sticking with it,’’ he said. "They tried to put (Damian) Lillard on me, kept switching on pick-and-rolls.
"I just tried to create a mismatch and stay confident.’’
In rallying from a 16-point fourth-quarter deficit, the Mavs (35-18) moved into a virtual tie with the Blazers (34-17) for the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference. And they can thank the crunch-time production from Parsons for this victory.
"That was such a good team win -- no one hung their head,’’ Parsons said. "We have an older team that has been in this situation before, not being able to give up against a team that's very good and ahead of us in the standings.’’
Parsons kept gaining confidence as coach Rick Carlisle kept calling his number when the Blazers kept shadowing Nowitzki, who finished with 25 points.
"He's the one that's making the plays for us, the one that's in charge of everything,’’ Parsons said of Carlisle. "I just try to stay aggressive and stay ready and help my team when they needed me.’’
On this night, the Mavs were needed the impressive stat line from Parsons, who also added nine rebounds, four assists and three steals. But the win over one of the NBA’s better teams – not his individual accomplishments – is what got Parsons all excited.
"We hadn't beaten a very good team that was at full strength all year long,’’ Parsons said. "To be the team that we want to be we need to have wins like this, and they're a great team that plays extremely hard and they'll be there in the thick of things at the end.’’
So, too, will the Mavs if they keep playing like they did Saturday night down the stretch.